Business, Economics and Jobs

Dell to go private after shareholders approve $24.9 BN buyout of PC maker


Visitors walks around the Dell stand at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT on March 4, 2010 in the northern German city of Hanover.


Nigel Treblin

Dell Inc. Chief Executive Michael Dell claimed victory on Thursday after shareholders approved his planned $24.9 billion buyout of the company he started in a college dorm in 1984.

A majority of shareholders backed the deal to sell the company to CEO Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake at a meeting in Austin, Texas, ending a seven-month battle between the founder and major investors who had pushed hard for a higher price.

After two price hikes since February, when the proposal was first announced, shareholders will now receive $13.75 a share in cash and a special 13-cent dividend

The victory paves the way for Michael Dell to take the personal computer maker private and begin the difficult task of restructuring the company away from the public spotlight. 

Dell, once the world’s largest PC maker, has been hit hard by the global decline in sales of desktops and laptops as consumers gravitate towards smartphones and tablets.

CEO Dell wants to turn the company’s focus towards mobile devices and enterprise computing services, which are dominated by IBM and Hewlett Packard.

Some analaysts believe the move may be too late, but the grim outlook for the global PC market leaves Dell with little option.

Global PC sales are shrinking and Dell’s own earnings are contracting at a rate of knots.

In August, Dell announced its fiscal second-quarter earnings slumped 72 percent to $204 million on flat revenue, marking the seventh straight quarter of year-over-year profit declines.

"I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions," Michael Dell said.

"As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals."


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